1.3 Per Cent Growth for October to December

Photo: Melroy Sterling Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry (centre), speaks during the agency’s quarterly press briefing held on Wednesday (February 22), at the agency’s Oxford Road offices in St. Andrew. Others pictured are: Director for Economic Planning and Research at the PIOJ, James Stewart (left), and Programme Director for Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat, at the agency, Elizabeth Emanuel (right).

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaican economy remained on the growth path, expanding by 1.3 per cent during the October to December 2016 quarter, comparative to the same period of 2015.
  • Director General at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, said the growth was driven by strong performance in agriculture, forestry and fishing, which saw 16 per cent expansion in economic activity.
  • The PIOJ Director General informed that for 2016, real gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 1.4 per cent. The goods-producing and services industries were projected to grow by 3.3 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.

The Jamaican economy remained on the growth path, expanding by 1.3 per cent during the October to December 2016 quarter, comparative to the same period of 2015.

Director General at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, made the disclosure while addressing the quarterly press briefing held yesterday (February 22), at the agency’s Oxford Road offices in St. Andrew,

He said the growth was driven by strong performance in agriculture, forestry and fishing, which saw 16 per cent expansion in economic activity.

This, along with 0.2 per cent growth in manufacturing; and 0.8 per cent growth in construction, outweighed a 12 per cent decline in mining and quarrying to increase real value added for the goods-producing industry by three per cent.

As it relates to the Services Industry, which saw 0.8 per cent growth, there was expansion of economic activity in all subcategories, except for producers of government services, which declined by 0.2 per cent. The industries that registered the highest growth rates for the quarter were hotels and restaurants, 2.7 per cent; and electricity and water supply, 2.3 per cent.

The PIOJ Director General informed that for 2016, real gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 1.4 per cent. The goods-producing and services industries were projected to grow by 3.3 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.

The industries estimated to have recorded the largest increases in real value added were agriculture, forestry and fishing, electricity and water supply, and hotels and restaurants.

Meanwhile, Dr. Henry said inflation for the period was recorded at 0.9 per cent, with food and non-alcoholic beverages up 1.4 per cent; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels up 1.1 per cent.

The inflation out-turn reflected mainly higher costs for starchy foods and vegetables and increases in electricity, water and sewerage rates.

Meanwhile, the total labour force for October 2016 increased by 30,100 persons to 1,355,500 persons compared with October 2015. The employed labour force increased by 34,000 to 1,180,800.

The unemployment rate for October 2016 was 12.9 per cent compared with 13.5 per cent in October 2015.

The PIOJ head projected a positive outlook for the economy in the coming months.

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